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Several factors influenced the development of mass media and popular culture in the early nineteenth century in the United states. The first factor was the growth of vernacular literacy, something that is often attributed to the emphasis on Bible reading in Protestantism. Next, there was the technological innovation of acid paper based on wood pulp, which significantly reduced the price of printed materials and allowed for the development of newspapers and cheap paperbacks. Other technologies such as railroads and steam ship allowed for faster dissemination of cultural productions. Finally, the rising incomes of the emerging middle class broadened the potential audience for culture.
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